"List three different kinds of fish that live in brackish water."
It was an easy question, but just like last week, the cameras were distracting. I could see the little red lights on each of them, indicating that they were recording. We weren’t supposed to look at the cameras, but those red lights were taunting me, daring me to look at them. Look at us shine, they were saying, we’re not awkward or insecure or uncomfortable, we’re confident and capable, and we certainly didn’t let our mom talk us into wearing that horrible sweater on TV.
I shot the little red lights, and the entire TV audience, a resentful look and tried to focus on the question. It was my turn to write down my answer, and literally tens of people were waiting. All eyes were on me as I shakily wrote down my answer in large TV friendly block letters, checking the spelling twice; I’d been teased mercilessly last week.
Why did the sweater have to be orange?
"May I have the answer?"
I wasn’t sure I wanted to give him mine, but I didn’t dare tell him that. Luckily, my answer was correct, but so was my opponent’s. Back and forth we went. She scored a point, I scored a point. I scored a point, she scored a point. Good thing one of us didn’t jump off a bridge, the other one would have surely followed just to make it a tie.
It all came down to the last question.
To this day, I cannot remember what that question was. All I know is that I walked out of that TV studio with the bigger cheque. Weeks of sleeplessness, agony and horrific nerves, and I came out the winner.
It was just a silly game show on a local TV network, but dammit, I showed those little red lights what I was made of.
Oh, and that sweater? I was teased endlessly about it.
This post is part of Nicky and Mike’s 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge. Today’s prompt is 15 minutes. Go check out We Work For Cheese for a list of the other participants. *